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Fox in US for Libya campaign talks

Defence Secretary Liam Fox is in the US for talks on the military campaign in Libya.

Dr Fox is due to meet his counterpart Robert Gates during the visit, while Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir David Richards will also speak to his opposite number.

The discussions are expected to focus on the best way of stepping up Nato attacks on Muammar Gaddafi's forces, after the US decided to bring its unmanned Predator drones into play.

Before flying to Washington, Dr Fox told the Daily Mail: "If the regime continues to wage war on its people, those who are involved in those command-and-control assets need to recognise that we regard them as legitimate targets. Those who are in command-and-control assets, controlling the regime's activities against its own people, would have to recognise the risks they would have if they were there during Nato strikes."

The Ministry of Defence disclosed details of the trip as an air strike damaged buildings in the dictator's Tripoli compound. At least two powerful missiles hit the area on Monday, briefly taking three television stations off the air.

A Libyan government spokesman condemned the strike on the compound as a failed assassination attempt, insisting the 69-year-old leader was healthy, "in high spirits" and carrying on business as usual.

Fierce fighting has also continued around Misrata, with Gaddafi's troops bombarding the western city with mortar fire.

Bloody clashes over the weekend are reported to have left more than 30 dead and dozens wounded.

The latest shelling hit a residential area and killed 10 people, including five members of one family, according to a local doctor.

Meanwhile, Italy said its military would join in strategic bomb raids in Libya.

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